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food & recipes: Simple Chocolate Mousse

I get it. It’s the month of resolutions and the last thing you guys want to see is a tempting recipe, but I’m here to tell you- if you try to cut simple pleasures like dessert completely from your life, your diet will never work (at least in my experience). Plus, it’s Friday!! Here’s a few reasons why I believe in rewarding yourself, moderation, and making calories count (even during the month of January). Oh, and of course a really amazing chocolate mousse recipe.

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This week it’s my turn to make a treat for our weekly girl’s night. Sometimes it’s a salty snack, sometimes it’s sweet, and other times it’s a cocktail. After a few weeks of clean eating, exercising, and nearly perfect behavior, I decided to make a light and splurge-worthy dessert: chocolate mousse.

I’ll admit it… every new year, I cringe at resolutions. I don’t like making “resolutions” because so frequently this is the story: you hold strong for a month or two, only to break your resolutions and feel severe disappointment. Instead, I like to make “goals” and a set the pace for a lifestyle change. I allow myself a reward once a week for staying on track, something I really enjoy… in moderation, of course. Cue the chocolate mousse.

INGREDIENTS:
3/4 cup chilled heavy cream, divided
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup of dark roast coffee, room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/8 teaspoon pink himalayan sea salt
6 ounces semisweet chocolate (60-72% cacao), chopped
2 large egg whites

Here’s a step-by-step (absolutely no way to mess this up) tutorial for making classic chocolate mousse:

step one // Beat 1/2 cup cream in medium bowl until stiff peaks form; cover and chill. In this recipe, it’s easier to use a hand mixer rather than a countertop mixing unit (this mixer is my absolute favorite).

step two // Divide the eggs.

step three // Chop the chocolate.

step four // Combine egg yolks, espresso, salt, and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a large bowl.

step five // Set over a saucepan of gently simmering water (do not allow bowl to touch water). Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is lighter in color and almost doubled in volume and a candy thermometer reads about 160 degrees (about 3 minutes).

step six // Remove bowl from pan. Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Let stand, whisking occasionally, until room temperature.

step seven // Using an electric mixer, beat egg white in another medium bowl on medium speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually beat in remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar. Increase speed to high and beat until glossy, firm peaks form.

step eight // Fold egg whites into chocolate in 2 additions.

step nine // Fold whipped cream into mixture just to blend.

step ten // Divide mousse among six teacups or 4-oz. ramekins. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours.

You can totally make this recipe in advance! I actually recommend making it one day ahead; just be sure to cover and keep it chilled. Let mousse stand at room temperature for 10 minutes prior serving. Before serving, whisk remaining 1/4 cup cream in a small bowl until soft peaks form; dollop over mousse and garnish with berries.

For those of you who are counting, there’s about 290 calories per serving. Not so bad, right?

If I’m going to reward myself with a dessert, it has to be worthy. You’ll never see me choose a Snickers bar over a decadent, homemade or gourmet recipe. You’ve got to make those calories count, people! Trust me, this one is worth it. With that said, I don’t keep leftovers around to tempt me. I also make small batches and share with friends.

In the end, you’ll feel like you’re missing out on less and in my opinion- it gives you something to work towards…something to earn. Next recipe post, I promise to post something delicious, but healthy!

In the meantime, give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy a little “me time”. Where do you stand on resolutions, dieting, and eating healthy?

This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit.

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